4. “Along Came Betty” (Moanin’; Blue Note, 1958)
Moanin’ is easily the most famous album in Art Blakey’s long career, with Bobby Timmons’ title track and Benny Golson’s “Blues March” (the band’s unofficial theme song) its most famous moments. “Along Came Betty,” the record’s other Golson standard (for good reason—how catchy is it?), is perhaps even more interesting. Its gentle midtempo is certainly something less associated with Blakey and the Messengers. Yet the band grooves with the same commitment here as on any of their harder-hitting pieces. Blakey and Timmons, in particular, show mastery of seasoning the tune to taste. The pianist also joins Lee Morgan and Golson in delivering what have to stand among the best solos of each musician’s recording career.